The US West Coast states, California, Oregon and Washington, are home to several unique biomes and ecosystems. Found mainly in California, these forests are home to coastal redwoods and giant sequoias. Giant sequoias are the most massive trees in the world and can live for over 3,000 years.
Found primarily along the coast of Oregon and Washington state, Temperate Rain Forests feature evergreen trees such as western red cedar, Douglas fir, and Oregon live oak. They are particularly rich in biodiversity and are home to numerous species of animals and plants.
High mountain prairies habitats are found in the mountain regions of all three states and are characterized by expanses of grasses, wildflowers and shrubs. They are important habitats for many species of animals, such as deer, pronghorn antelope, wolves and many species of birds.
Most common in Oregon, coastal dunes are sand formations that extend along the coast. They are unique habitats for plants, insects and reptiles adapted to shifting sand and strong coastal winds.
Major threats that can lead to the destruction of these ecosystems include deforestation, rapid urbanization, air and water pollution, climate change and the introduction of invasive species.
The most serious dangers that threaten the biomes of West Coast
Increasingly frequent and intense fires can seriously damage forest ecosystems, destroying trees, killing wildlife and altering plant recovery. Global warming is causing changes in seasons, precipitation patterns and temperatures, threatening the stability of ecosystems and the survival of species adapted to specific climate conditions.
The absorption of atmospheric CO2 causes ocean acidification, threatening the survival of marine species and coastal ecosystems. The rapid growth of urban areas can lead to the destruction of natural habitats, land fragmentation and loss of biodiversity.
The conservation and protection of these important ecosystems requires efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote sustainable forest management, protect protected areas, and responsibly manage the development of coastal communities.